Senate Democrats aim to pass bill recognizing same-sex marriage

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday he is working to build support for a House-passed bill recognizing same-sex marriage on the federal level so that it can be approved by the Senate.

The legislation would need 10 GOP votes to overcome a filibuster assuming all of the Senate’s 50 Democrats back it, but hopes for passage have been lifted after 47 Republicans in the House backed the bill.   

“The legislation is so important,” said Schumer, who has spoken with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), a sponsor of the Senate companion bill, to see if it has enough GOP support to pass the Senate.  

“She is talking to Republicans to see where the support is. I want to bring this bill to the floor, and we’re working to get the necessary Senate Republican support to ensure it would pass,” Schumer said.  

Republican Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are co-sponsors of the Senate bill.  

Portman said Republican views of same-sex marriage are changing and predicted there is “a possibility” the bill could get 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster.  

“When you look at the House vote and the shifting sentiment about this issue throughout the country. I think this is an issue that many Americans regardless of political affiliation has been resolved and my own personal views on this haven’t changed from several years ago when I said people should have the opportunity to marry who they want,” he said.  

The Senate bill would enshrine marriage equality in federal law, requiring that an individual be considered married if the marriage is validated by the law of the state in which is was performed.  

The bill also prohibits state officials from denying full faith and credit to an out-of-state marriage based on sex, race or ethnicity, according to a summary provided by Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) office, another co-sponsor of the legislation.  

In the House, the vast majority of Republicans voted against the measure in a 267-157 vote, but the 47 Republicans voting yes were an eye-opener to many observers.  

Portman noted the Senate passed an anti-LGBT discrimination bill with bipartisan support in 2013.  

The Senate voted 64-32 that year to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from workplace discrimination.  

Tags Charles Schumer Charles Schumer Dianne Feinstein Rob Portman Rob Portman same sex marriage Susan Collins Susan Collins Tammy Baldwin Tammy Baldwin
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